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July 19: Bunnies honour Sutton; Roos honour Locky

On this day, Phil Gould joined the Roosters, Darren Lockyer was named the greatest Kangaroos captain of all time and loyal Rabbitoh John Sutton was paid a fitting tribute.


Illawarra’s Grant Izzard is suspended by the League’s judiciary for six weeks after he was found guilty of biting South Sydney’s Craig Field.


Phil Gould is officially appointed coach of Easts for 1995, just 12 hours after resigning from Penrith.

Gould signs a three-year contract with a further two-year option. Gould is replaced at Penrith by grand final hero Royce Simmons, for the remainder of the season.


Rugby League Week’s annual players’ poll reveals almost 80 percent support for the reinstatement of South Sydney. Andrew Johns is rated by 67 percent of respondents as the number one player in the game, while 60 percent of players believe that performance-enhancing drugs are still being used.

Knights great Andrew Johns.
Knights great Andrew Johns. ©NRL Photos


Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett dumps rising winger Justin Hodges to first division for the rest of the season after he agrees to a three-year deal with the Sydney Roosters. 


The Sydney Morning Herald reports that St George Illawarra second-rower Lance Thompson has taken a pay cut to help the club retain star players Shaun Timmins, Mark Gasnier and Nathan Blacklock.

Former Dragons winger Nathan Blacklock.
Former Dragons winger Nathan Blacklock. ©NRL Photos


Newcastle’s finals hopes are jolted by news that experienced stars Steve Simpson and Robbie O’Davis both suffered broken jaws in the team’s 16-12 loss to Brisbane in round 19.


St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown is fined $10,000 by the NRL for allegedly claiming that referees are biased against the Dragons. Brown made the comments after his team was penalised 9-3 by referee Stephen Clark in St George Illawarra’s 36-10 defeat of Manly. The Dragons immediately announce an appeal.


Ricky Stuart reluctantly walks out on Cronulla six weeks before the end of the season, claiming that he had lost the support of his players. “I just feel I can’t get that extra bit out of them at the moment,” Stuart said days after his Sharks were thumped 48-18 by Manly.

“Talking to the players at half-time and after the game, I could probably sense with them that this was the only decision.” Cronulla chairman Damian Irvine accepts Stuart’s resignation and immediately appoints Shane Flanagan as Stuart’s successor.


Former Newcastle and Australian five-eighth Matthew Johns calls for the top three teams to be given their choice of opponents on the opening week of the finals series.


Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett hails his halves pairing of Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford as the club’s best since Allan Langer and Kevin Walters after they spearhead a 42-16 demolition of Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium.


Darren Lockyer is announced as Australia’s greatest ever captain at the Men of League ball in Sydney.


South Sydney honour the club’s longest-serving player, John Sutton by unveiling a mural on the clubhouse at Sutton’s junior club Kensington to mark his 300th game in the NRL.


Brisbane’s Payne Haas signs the richest deal by a teenager in the game’s history, re-signing with the club until the end of 2024 for a reported $3.4 million or almost $700,000 a season.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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